Should we form a PAC to recall the school board? Can we recall the Stuporintendent?

12 Apr

I’d like to thank all you people who voted to extend Measure A, the school bond that was originally shoveled down the voter’s throats with promises of a third high school. I’m so glad you all voted “YES!, Screw Me Blind! And my neighbors too!” on Measure E.

You bastards – of course I’m being sarcastic!

You’re probably the same dummasses that voted YES! on Proposition 30 – did you knuckle under to threats that  Dummass Junior would not get into Chico State because of “cut-backs,” or did you really believe they needed the money?

Again, you bastard! I would like to send my right Etnie straight into your glut-max!

Please forgive me for this rampage, I just paid my property taxes over the last couple of weeks, and I could eat the heads off a sack full of liberal tax-and-spend kittens.

Let me ramp it down a little, I have a good cup of coffee next to me here, I’ll try to think positive. It may be one of the last cups of coffee I’ll be able to afford.

When Kelly Staley and the Chico Unified School Board proposed this tax, they made all the usual bullshit promises about “citizen oversight,” saying there would be a citizen’s  and a list of projects that would be vetted before the public before any expenditures were made of this money. Now, what, five months later? The board has already approved a project to be paid for out of this money, without so much a list scrawled on a cocktail napkin discussed before the public.

They want to issue more bonds to get the money for a new gym floor – something called “capital appreciation bonds.” According to the Enterprise Record, school district “bonds advisor” Greg Isom is advising Kelly Staley to consider these bonds, and she’s listening to him. The ER explains, “With capital appreciation bonds, payments are delayed but the interest piles up. A $4.6 million bond for Yuba College will cost $58 million to repay. In Poway, north of San Diego, $105 million in bonds will cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion.”

That sounds insane, you might be surprised if you haven’t been paying attention to the school district over the years. They sold the voters on Measure A, promising to build a third high school to relieve the overcrowding evident to anyone caught within proximity of either of our high schools during class break, lunch, or before/after school rush. Kids come to those two campuses from miles around. Both have a junior high within a mile. It seems like a no-brainer to place another high school near the third junior high, in an area of town that’s been developing like crazy over the last ten years, even approved for a “city within a city” (Meriam Park). But the school district reneged on that high school, deciding pretty willy-nilly to spend the bond proceeds on whatever projects they felt like. Really dumb superficial stuff – facades! –  alot of of work that could have been done by the students themselves, even the construction students from Chico State. Instead the district has been spending the bond money on these projects, without any accounting to the public. We have no reports, no financial records – we don’t have the slightest idea how much money they’ve taken in off Measure A over the years or exactly where they’ve spent it. 

So now they’ve extended it, with the help of a pack of idiot lemming voters. Meanwhile, the third high school decision continues to haunt us. Now we find, the district is paying hundreds of thousands on mitigation for the land they bought but didn’t build the third high school on. They even mention they may still build a high school, “If the day comes that a high school needs to be built on the site…”  (“If?”)   But here they go right ahead and spend the money we were told would go to building that school on other stuff? 

And then what? “If the day comes…” they float another bond and tell us we have to pay more, that’s what. 

Here’s what I propose. I propose I start a “Friends of the Chico Taxpayers” Political Action Committee. All that requires is filling out forms Downtown, or at the county, whichever. We can collect money to run a recall on the Chico Unified School Board, and we can see what we can do about getting rid of Staley too. I’ll check into that, might pan out. 

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Chico school board asked to spend $436,000 on empty high school land

By ROGER H. AYLWORTH-Staff Writer
Posted:   04/09/2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Click photo to enlarge

Wildflowers grow in a field at the corner of Raley Boulevard and Bruce Road that was to host the…

CHICO — Chico’s school board will be asked Wednesday to spend just under $436,000 to mitigate environmental concerns on a 50-acre lot that may not house students for decades to come.At issue is the parcel purchased by the Chico Unified School District in 2005 at the northwest corner of Raley Boulevard and Bruce Road in southeast Chico. The land was to host the future Canyon View High School, but with shrinking enrollment, the proposed project did not go forward.

Even so, CUSD Director of Facilities and Construction Mike Weissenborn will ask the board of trustees to pay for most of the environmental mitigation required under the various permits the district has on the property.

If approved, the money will go to so-called “mitigation banks” to cover the cost to create a vernal pool elsewhere and to maintain a population of the endangered fairy shrimp on the high school property at a different location.

Beyond the vernal pool mitigation, the district also must purchase credits to cover loss of intermittent streams on the property.

District building manager Julie Kistle said, “You can’t do anything without the mitigations.”

The district also needs to seek what would be the second extension of a permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers related to the use of the property. It expires April 17.

Kistle said while the permit and the mitigation are not directly tied, buying the mitigation credits would “really be a positive step,” to show the Corps the CUSD is

moving forward.Weissenborn said, “We have got quite an investment in that property and we don’t want to see it get re-regulated.”

He explained CUSD is working with “a set of knowns in a world that tends to create unknowns” — federal and state environmental regulation — and the CUSD would be better off complying with the existing rules than having to go through a new process and face new challenges.

Weissenborn said while the construction of a new high school on the property could be decades away, that doesn’t mean the land will continue to sit empty and unused.

He said it is incumbent on the district staff to investigate “appropriate interim uses” for the property.

On April 17, Weissenborn will bring a proposal to the trustees about the possibility of putting a solar power array on the Canyon View land. The electricity created could be used to reduce district power bills.

If the day comes that a high school needs to be built on the site, the solar arrays could be put on supports and provide both power and shaded vehicle parking such as now exists at Pleasant Valley High School and Chico High School.

He also said having the property in hand is good for the district’s future planning.

“They are not making more ground where we need it,” he explained.

Even if trustees approve the purchase of the mitigation credits, which will be funded through developer fees, no projects are going to happen immediately.

Kistle said the district is mandated to provide mitigations for the endangered meadowfoam plant, and as of right now there are no mitigation banks in place for meadowfoam.

PUBLIC MEETING:

CUSD board of trustees

6 p.m. Wednesday

large conference room at the CUSD offices, 1163 E. Seventh St.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

2 environmental fixes on 50-acre Chico school site OK’d

By ROGER H. AYLWORTH-Staff Writer
Posted:   04/11/2013 12:35:03 AM PDT

CHICO — In a split vote and after hearing a last-minute plea from another firm, the Chico Unified School District trustees voted to purchase environmental mitigation credits for a 50-acre parcel of land that was originally purchased to house a third high school.With board President Liz Griffin casting the lone nay, the CUSD trustees voted to purchase more than $175,000 worth of environmental mitigation credits for the district-owned property at the intersection of Bruce Road and Raley Boulevard.

Before the vote, Mike Weissenborn, CUSD director of facilities and construction, explained that in 1998, voters approved Measure A, a $48.7 million school bond, that was supposed to, among other things, build a third comprehensive high school.

He said that after extensive investigation, four sites, all along Bruce Road, were identified as the potential home of what was to be called Canyon View High School.

Weissenborn said all of the sites had environmental problems that would have to be dealt with before construction could begin. The Bruce and Raley site was chosen and in 2003, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a conditional permit to the district that would allow construction when four problems were “mitigated.”

Under the conditions the district was required to obtain mitigations “credits” covering the creation of a 1.02-acre vernal pool, the preservation of an additional 2.24 acres of vernal pools that would include the preservation of fairy shrimp, and credits to cover the preservation of .33 acres of intermittent stream bank, and finally the preservation of one acre of land to protect less that 50 specimens of Butte County meadow foam, an endangered plant.

All of these mitigations take place on land preserves, not on the district parcel, and the district purchases the credits to have a private firm create the various conditions and maintain them forever.

As the student population failed to grow enough to justify the construction of Canyon View, the property has remained unused.

Weissenborn asked the board to contract with the Shauna Down Mitigation Bank, which has property in Butte County and corporate offices in Nevada, to do everything but the meadow foam mitigation.

He said the three projects would cost a total of nearly $436,000. The district had set aside about $500,000 to cover the mitigations when it first got the permit, according to the director.

The meadow foam question was not on the table because as of now, there are no firms that sell mitigation credits for the endangered plant.

Weissenborn said it was important to sign the contracts because the district is seeking a second extension of the Army Corps permit, which expires on April 17.

Things came together at this time, according to the director, because until recently there were no firms certified locally to do the mitigations.

That’s when Travis Hemmen, with Westervelt Ecological Services’ Sacramento Office, rose to claim his company could do the vernal pool creation work for $150,000 as opposed to the nearly $261,000 being asked for by Shauna Down.

Weissenborn said several firms, including Hemmen’s, were certified to do the work on April 1 of this year, and at the time his staff was reviewing possible contractors, these firms were not certified.

The trustees debated the question of reopening the projects to new bids, at the same time the district was trying to take actions to show the corps they were, in fact, moving ahead.

Weissenborn said he was concerned that if the permit extension was denied, the district could face new demands in the future.

Board President Griffin said she wanted to see the whole process opened to new bids. Trustee Andrea Thompson said she felt a fiscal responsibility to save the district money if possible, but at the same time, she said she was fearful of losing the permit.

Hemmen said his company was only really prepared to do the vernal pool creation work.

Weissenborn was asked if the district contracted for the other two mitigation projects, would the corps get the message the CUSD was serious. He said he thought that would work.

Then, on a motion by Thompson, board majority voted to award the two projects to Shauna Down for a total of slightly more than $175,000, and to leave the third part of the proposal for new bids. Only Griffin voted no.

No one from Shauna Down spoke Wednesday night.

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2 Responses to “Should we form a PAC to recall the school board? Can we recall the Stuporintendent?”

  1. Toby Schindelbeck April 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Excellent post Juanita! You said exactly what I was thinking when I read that crock of shit. Idiot lemming voters is exactly right. Fucking morons. Keep kicking their ass!

    -Toby Schindelbeck http://www.NUTRISHOPChico.com *Sent from my Iphone

    • Juanita Sumner April 13, 2013 at 5:27 am #

      Thanks Toby, you really livened up that last election and gave a lot of us a voice. I will certainly miss you in 2014, but wherever life takes you – live long and prosper! There will always be a place for you at the CTA table.

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